At least 118 customers affected between April 2018 and January 2019
Ofcom has fined broadband and landline provider Onestream £35,000 for a form of mis-selling known as ‘slamming’.
The telecoms regulator carried out an investigation that found that Onestream slammed at least 118 customers between April 2018 and January 2019, at least three quarters of whom were elderly or vulnerable.
Slamming entails switching customers’ home phone services without their permission. Ofcom found that Onestream made cold calls to customers without clarifying that Onestream was a separate company to their current one and was trying to switch their current services to Onestream without telling them.
Onestream also attempted to switch over at least 45 customers without obtaining their express permission, and also made repeated attempts to switch at least 113 of the customers to Onestream without contacting them each time, despite the customers asking their current phone company to cancel Onestream’s attempts to switch them over.
Ofcom’s fine includes a 30 per cent discount due to the provider’s admission of liability and agreement to enter a settlement.
Onestream has also written to all customers who switched over as a result of a telesales call, not just those affected by the slamming, to inform them of their right to exit their contract without penalty at any time, and is also required to refund any money paid by the 118 customers identified as being slammed.
In a statement, a Onestream spokesperson said: “”Over the past 12 months Onestream has worked extremely hard to make changes and introduce safeguards throughout the business, ensuring there can be no repetition of the mistakes that were made. Proven and respected industry professionals now hold key positions within the Onestream organisation who, working closely with independent consultants have revised all processes and implemented best practice to achieve positive change. All affected customers have been fully compensated, released from all and any contractual obligation and have received a full and unreserved apology.”